Amendment gives power back to citizens

We’ve survived the Blagojevich era, but needless to say we’re still feeling repercussions of his prior gubernatorial ineptitudes. There was never a point in time where Blagojevich showed any inclination to resign from office. While the state constitution said he could be impeached by the Illinois House and trial by the Senate, Illinois residents should not endure a lengthy, abominable gubernatorial period while waiting for a new executive chief to be voted into office. Instead, Illinois citizens should be able to recall their governor.

Last Thursday, the Illinois Senate overwhelmingly voted to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November. The amendment provides Illinois voters with the power to recall governors from their positions if three-fifths of voters vote in favor of the amendment.

Blagojevich is a perfect example of what could happen if we elect another corrupt individual into office. If Illinois was to come across another politician, such as Blagojevich who turns his back on Illinois citizens, then residents should have the right to terminate a governor who cannot, and will not, do his job.

Governor Pat Quinn said it best: “When a consumer product is found to be tainted or defective, there’s a recall. Why shouldn’t the people of Illinois have the right to recall shoddy elected officials who fail to perform as promised?”

There’s no question about whether this piece of legislation should be enacted. A recall is a necessary right; if we elect a person who fails to carry out his duties, then we should also be able to vote them out of office.

The actual recall process will be a difficult one. Many people, and some politicians, have accused the move as being merely political because of its complexity. However, it shouldn’t – and it doesn’t – leave much room for flippant or sporadic decisions.

The process includes obtaining 15 lawmakers’ signatures from each party, hundreds of thousands of registered voters’ signatures and a statewide election. Though the process may be difficult, it may be just difficult enough.

It should never be easy to recall an elected official; it’s a serious matter and should always be handled with careful thought. The proposed guidelines to recall an elected official are right in order with the difficulty of the matter.

This not only gives voters more control of their government, but also will remind elected officials that they will be held accountable for their actions.

If our elected officials, especially our governor (who) is incompetent, unresponsive or does not represent the best interests of their constituents, then the citizens should hold the right to oust them.